Damn, That Was Stupid / Nine Amazing Shows I Missed - by JCE

I recently had plans to go see Watershed play the Slim’s 30th Anniversary show in Raleigh, NC. The show was a little over four hours from my home in Virginia, so my wife booked us a hotel just three blocks from Slim’s and we had a plan. I have been contributing here on Pencilstorm for over two years now, so I was looking forward to meeting the guys behind it, and finally seeing a band I have followed since 1994. Unfortunately, a family emergency arose and I had to cancel. Nothing I can do about that. But here are nine shows I could (and should) have gone to that I still kick myself about. In chronological order:

U2 – The Bayou, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

U2 released the album “Boy” in 1980. I was still in high school but I was regularly seeing shows at Georgetown clubs. All ages shows weren’t really a thing back then, but it was easy getting into places. U2 came to the very small Bayou. It was their second show ever in the United States! I could have gone, but I had not heard the record and I wasn’t sure if I would like them. Only a few weeks later I had “I Will Follow” blasting several times a day. Damn, that was stupid.

The Clash – William & Mary Hall, Williamsburg, VA.

In late 1982, The Clash played at the College of William and Mary. I was a couple of hours away at the University of Virginia. Somehow, I didn’t know about the show until the last minute, so me and three friends decided to jump in a car and drive down there. We had no tickets but we were pretty sure we could get some. We headed down Route 29 South. The driver (not me) missed the exit onto Route 64 without realizing it and we just kept driving, almost to Lynchburg. At that point, we were way out of the way, time was running out and we had no tickets, so we just decided to drive back to school and drink a bunch of beer. It was the “Combat Rock” tour, but still… I never saw The Clash. It was my future wife’s very first concert (we had not yet met). She was 16 years old. Damn, that was stupid. Extra stupid.

The Lords of the New Church - The Bayou, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

I loved the Dead Boys, so when Stiv Bator teamed up with Brian James from The Damned to form the Lords of the New Church, I was all in. I bought the record and loved it. I was away at college in Charlottesville when I saw an ad for upcoming shows at the Bayou (clipping attached to ticket below). I bought a ticket ($5, wow that’s cheap!) and was so psyched for this show. About two days before the show I found myself faced with a massive architecture project due and I had done next to nothing. The project was due the morning after the show. All-nighters followed and I bailed. Damn, that was stupid. I did eventually get to see both the Dead Boys and the Lords of the New Church, so this one is a little less painful. By the way, I never became an architect.


Oasis – WUST Music Hall, Washington, D.C.

My wife and I got three tickets to see an Oasis show at WUST Music Hall. WUST was a radio station before it became a music venue, and then later it became the new 9:30 Club that is still there today. The radio broadcast tower still stands on the roof of the club. Anyway, our friend who had dibs on the third ticket got held up at work. We waited for him. And waited. Finally, we hit the road for the hour and a half drive and got to the club around 9:40. We prayed that they would start late, but as we pulled up, the club was emptying out. Show over. Damn, that was stupid.


Marvelous 3 / Eve 6 – Trax Nightclub, Charlottesville, VA

In the late 90’s, there was a slew of “alternative rock” coming from everywhere. My wife and I went to three of the huge WHFS music festivals at RFK stadium in D.C. DC101 was the radio station of choice. Two of my favorite bands from that particular era were the Marvelous 3 - which was led by musical genius Butch Walker - and Eve 6. They played together one night at Trax in Charlottesville, a mere 45 minutes from my house. I still don’t remember why I didn’t get off my ass and go. Damn, that was stupid.

Watershed – The Pit, Kill Devil Hills, NC

My wife and I used to go to the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina two or even three times a year. On one particular trip, we had reached the end of our week-long stay. We packed the car and headed out for the five hour trip home. On the radio comes “Small Doses” by Watershed. The DJ says, “Great band, go see them tonight at The Pit,” (in Kill Devil Hills, NC---the Outer Banks!). I wasn’t even out to the highway yet. I was in town for God sakes. We had dogs to pick up from the kennel, and other stuff to get back to, but we could have made it work. I kept driving. Damn, that was stupid. (editor’s note: Not to make John feel worse, but I roadied that gig, and it was a GREAT show. That WAS stupid. - Ricki C.)

The Damned / The Briefs – Black Cat, Washington, D.C.

I saw The Damned back around the era of The Black Album, but I love The Damned, and I haven’t seen them for a long time. So when Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible got together recently and went on tour, I should have made an effort. I saw they were coming to the Black Cat, and the openers were The Briefs, who make great punk songs, short and fast like the Ramones. After being lazy, whining that it was a Sunday night and not going, I looked up the set list. It was amazing. I should have gone. Damn, that was stupid.

The Biters / Wyldlife / Frankie and the Studs – Voltage Lounge, Philadelphia, PA

The Biters have been pretty much my favorite overall band for about four years. My favorite band changes almost daily, but The Biters keep coming to the forefront. After The Biters, next might be Wyldlife. So when they play together, well you can’t miss that. I mentioned the show to my wife and daughter. It was three and half hours away, and the Philly hotels are damn expensive, but look at this double bill in a small club. YOU. HAVE. TO. PULL. THE. TRIGGER. YOU HAVE TO. I did not. Now The Biters have called it quits. I did see them once. I still haven’t seen Wyldlife. Damn, that was stupid. Really F*cking stupid.

Supersuckers / Upper Crust – The Broadberry, Richmond, VA

I love both of these bands. The Supersuckers are just great ragged punk ‘n’ roll with a little country thrown in. The Upper Crust are from Boston. They play hilarious but excellent rock with a theme and great costumes. I’ve heard it called costume rock, but it’s not goofy at all, it just rocks. One of the members of Upper Crust recently hurt himself and they are on indefinite hiatus. I suspect I may never get to see them play live. This show was in Richmond, an hour and a half away. I was getting up early the next morning to leave for a family vacation. I didn’t want to be tired for the long drive the next day. I did not go. Damn, that was stupid.

Maybe you also have made some bad decisions that haunt you.….feel free to share in the comment section below.

Click here for a Spotify playlist for this story.

Ricki C. and JCE (John, to his friends & family) first bonded over their shared mutual love of Boston's Finest Sons - The Neighborhoods - and everything extended out from that rock & roll ripple.  JCE lives in Culpeper, Virginia with his wife & daughter, and he & Ricki are STILL waiting for the long-rumored NEW Neighborhoods record to be released. Maybe in 2019.

Owen Finally Checks The Hives Off His List - by Colin Gawel

One byproduct of my wife & I both running small businesses is that our son Owen never spent much time in day-care or after-school programs. We had combined flexibility to cover his schedule most of the time. While this is surely a blessing, on occasion it could feel like a curse (i.e. the morning after a gig). Parenting a young child is hard work and requires mental toughness along with physical energy to get through the day.

One of the preferred tools in my parenting toolbox was rock n roll. Starting at a very young age,  whether with bootleg KISS VHS tapes playing on the TV or music blasting while we threw baseballs in the yard, music was ALWAYS playing. I capitalized the word always because I’m serious. Ask Owen, I cannot do anything without music playing in the background. Everything goes on pause until the tunes start back up.

The upshot of all this is that Owen became a very knowledgeable rock n roll fan at a very young age. In pre-school, when he wasn’t singing along and the teacher asked him why, he said he didn’t like the song. She asked, “What songs do you like?” He answered, “I like Cheap Trick songs.” Once I told him if he wanted to be a real Aerosmith fan he should be able to name what song was on which album and I started quizzing him. Eventually, I couldn’t stump him: “Critical Mass?” Owen’s answer, Draw the Line.

Owen is just finishing his freshman year of high school so his hardcore rock n roll days are behind him for the time being: Hip Hop/Rap, or what have you, are what the kids are into these days. Sure, some of the songs make me throw up in my mouth a little. Okay, maybe most of the songs have that effect but I understand. I’m pretty sure my parents weren’t too jazzed about the song “Lick It Up” or when I needed a ride at 4 am to wait in line for Iron Maiden tickets. Parents aren’t supposed to like what the kids are listening to. That ruins all the fun.

However, along the way Owen and I managed to catch a bunch of great rock n roll shows:

Cheap Trick x 6

KISS x 3

Aerosmith X 2

Bruce Springsteen X 3

The Who

The Rolling Stones

Foo Fighters


That pretty much covers every band Owen was ever obsessed with for any period of time except for…..The Hives. Unless The Ramones come back from the grave, this is the last big-time band Owen really wants to see. It’s the end of an era.

So, finally…..The Hives are coming to Columbus, Ohio for the Sonic Arts Festival and we are planning on being there. When I asked if he wanted to go, he gave an enthusiastic, “Yeah, I guess that sounds okay.” Which is actually a ringing endorsement coming from a teenager. And to be honest, I dread going to this stupid festival with my computer-activated wristband and $25 parking fee, but I digress. I am truly excited to watch The Hives, one of the greatest rock n roll bands of all time, even if just for a 40 minute set from the bleachers. And sharing it with Owen makes it even better.

Colin Gawel plays rock n roll both solo and in the band Watershed. He wrote this at Colin’s Coffee in Upper Arlington, Ohio. To learn more click Colin tab at the top of the screen.

In Memoriam: John Ballor, 1956-2019 - by Ricki C.

I have a heroically garbled cassette tape from 1978 of Romantic Noise, Willie Phoenix's best band EVER, playing a song called "I Feel New."  John Ballor, the lead guitarist of Romantic Noise, sings lead on the tune and it is, quite simply, one of the most gorgeous, heartfelt tunes I have ever heard in my rock & roll life.

The quote above was the first paragraph of The Ballad of Willie Phoenix part one / Romantic Noise and The Buttons, 1978-1980 in 2013, from my old blog, Growing Old With Rock & Roll. John only sang lead on about three tunes in Romantic Noise: the aforementioned “I Feel New,” another great power-pop tune called “Holly” and a raver called (I think) “Politician, Politician” that only got played once when I saw the band. (Songs came & went pretty quickly in those days, Willie was CRANKIN’ out the tunes, most of them good, many of them great.)

Colin wrote me yesterday and said that he read John had passed away. From what I can piece together with my rudimentary computer skills, John died peacefully in hospice care in Ann Arbor, MI, from complications of MS and cancer.

I’m not really gonna get into all that, though. I’m gonna remember John to the stage right of Willie, spinnin’ out great concise lead guitar lines & solos (Willie didn’t start playin’ lead guitar until The Shadowlords in 1982) and adding backing vocals along with bass player extraordinaire Greg Glasgow in Romantic Noise and The Buttons. You can check out all the stuff I said about those bands by following that link above if you like, but let me just say this: Willie Phoenix has been a genius musician since the first week we met in 1978, but those two bands – Romantic Noise and The Buttons – with John & Greg and successive drummers Dee Hunt and Jerry Hanahan were Willie’s best bands EVER, largely on the strength of the musicians involved in those bands. (On the other hand, Willie was writing SUCH great songs in that halcyon late-70’s era it’s possible that the quality of the tunes improved the musicianship of the band.)

John went on to play with a lot of other bands after The Buttons broke up in 1980: The Amenders, Civil Waif, The Waifs, etc. I think one of them even got signed to Arista in the 1990’s, but I’m not sure which one. I am sure of this, though, my favorite post-Buttons story about John involved that band. In the early ‘90’s Willie was playing with The True Soul Rockers; Kozmos on bass, Mike Parks on lead guitar and the rock-solid Jim Johnson on drums. One weekend the TSR was playing at Chollie’s, a little dive bar in the Graceland shopping center that was formerly a Long John Silvers. (You could still smell the fried fish in that place.)

It was summertime & hot and Mike Parks & I were hangin’ around outside during one of the set-breaks when a big-ass white limousine pulled into the parking lot and stopped in front of Chollie’s. Mike & I just looked at each other and Mike said, “Well, this guy’s gotta be lost.” The back door of the limo opened and out stepped John and his wife & Civil Waif band-mate Laura. (John just MIGHT have been wearing a white suit to match the limo, but my memory’s a little hazy on that.)

“Hey guys,” John smiled brightly, shaking Mike’s & my hands, “how’ve you been?” I laughed, fixed John with a stare and said, “John, you hired a fucking LIMO to make an entrance at CHOLLIE’S? Arista must be paying you a LOT of money.”

John just switched on that little-boy grin of his at my calling him out, and we went in and caught the last set. I think that might have been the last time I ever saw John, and I treasure that memory to this day.

Check out the picture below, and make no mistake: John Ballor was the PRETTIEST lead guitarist I ever changed a string for. – Ricki C. / May 1st, 2019.



22 Essential Terry Anderson Songs and More - by Colin Gawel

Terry Anderson is one of my all-time favorite songwriters. Yup. Right there with folks such as Ray Davies and Bruce Springsteen. My own imperfect description would be Terry is equal parts Paul Westerberg, Chuck Berry and Nick Lowe with a dash of Ronnie Lane tossed in for good measure. How is that working for you?

If that weren’t enough, his band, The Olympic Ass-Kickin Team are a world class rock n roll outfit. Roadhouse style if you will. My own imperfect description of the OAK Team would be equal parts NRBQ, Dash Rip Rock and Rockpile with a pint of Ian McLagan poured in for good measure.

If you are interested in learning more, and I know you are, the following list is a map to help start your journey down the path to rock n roll salvation. This is NOT a comprehensive list by any stretch. Terry has close to one hundred songs that could be deemed “essential” by one standard or another. They are also spread out over time and space so you may have to hunt some stuff down on your own. With that said, let’s get on with the 22 songs. Enjoy!

Thunderbird (Terry Anderson and The Olympic Ass-Kickin Team)

On Watershed’s recent trip to perform in Raleigh, I took some quality van time to catch up on reading words by Hanif Abdurraqib. The Columbus-born author recently spoke to my Son’s creative writing class in Ohio and professor Joe Oestreich’s class at Coastal Carolina, so it appeared the universe wanted me to get off my ass and check this out.

It took about a paragraph to realize Hanif is super-talented and it felt good to not only agree with his Springsteen/NBA takes but also learn about why Chance the Rapper matters to my son. There is an age and culture difference between Hanif and myself but we have enough in common that I can follow the thread without feeling hopelessly out of touch. Now that I think about it that pretty much sums up what it is like to be the father of a teenage boy, too.

As the van was humming down I-77, I got to wondering that if Hanif and I were hanging out, would he appreciate the beauty of these lyrics the way I do?

“Why don’t you come over here and help me drink this Thunderbird?

Why don’t you come over…….. help me drink this Thunderbird?

We don’t even need a corkscrew

We don’t need no fancy glass

Drink straight from the bottle if you want to

Or you can stay home and kiss my ass

You can now

Why don’t you come over here and help me drink this Thunderbird?”

That’s poetry to me. Listen to this!

I Can Give You Everything  (Etta James - Love’s Been Rough on Me)

Written by Terry Anderson, covered by the legendary Etta James on her record Love’s Been Rough on Me. Nuff said, eh?

Listen to this! Click here for live version from the OAK Team.

Battleship Chains  (Georgia Satellites)

Three chords and a cloud of dust? Pfffttt…. What is ya? Some kinda Einsteeen? Two chords will do just fine thank you very much. Yup. TWO chords. C and G. That kind of economy makes the Ramones look like Yes. Oh, and the chorus don't bore us though it never rhymes. A recurring theme I might add.

“You’ve got me tied down with Battleship Chains

Fifty foot long and a two ton anchor”

Think this is easy? YOU try it.

Watch this!

Gambled and Lost  (More Smooth Jazz and Sweet Sweet Jams)

One of my favorite opening lines:

“Well I took that money you gave me and I gambled and lost. And I hope you are not too mad. But I had fun and if I won, it would have been worth the cost. But I gambled and lost”

Bonus line:

“That’s how they make their money, off of fools like me. If we were always winners honey, how much fun would that be?”

Listen to this!

You Know Me  (Terry Anderson and The Olympic Ass-Kickin Team)

Before I keep going on about what a great songwriter Terry is, let’s talk about the fact that his band, The Olympic Ass-Kickin Team are as a good of a rock n roll unit to ever grace a stage with a sticky floor.  In fact, the first time Watershed opened for the OAK Team in Macon, Georgia, Ricki C and I were watching them rip through two sets of raucous rock n roll, jaws agape when I turned to Ricki and asked, “Are these guys better than NRBQ?” Without hesitating Ricki responded, “I saw NRBQ live in their prime two or three times. These guys fucking destroy NRBQ.”  Turns out Terry sometimes writes songs with Al Anderson of NRBQ and the two have played together numerous times. Enjoy the promo clip below introducing the OAK Team members Jack, Dave and Greg along with a song written by Terry and Al.

I Love You Period  (Love Songs For the Hearing Impaired)

Having already scored a hit with Battleship Chains on the Georgia Satellites platinum effort, Dan Baird went back to Terry for the first single from his Rick Rubin/Brendan O'Brien produced solo debut. I sent Dan a question about how this all came about and he was very nice to shoot me the following response.

Take it Dan..

Here goes, Terry and I met years ago, 82, 83? Around there. He had The Fabulous Knobs and they were doing well in the Carolinas, we were doing ok in ATL, opened for each other and just got along. I left the Sats in 84 and played with Terry, Jack Cornell (still his bassist) and David Enloe. Called ourselves The Woodpeckers. The Sats thing called me back in 85, I left, and they changed their name to The Woods. Yes, the pecker had up and quit on em.

Couple years later, Bill Lloyd invited me to help try and get them a deal doing some demos here in Nashville. Period was one of those songs. I played it for Brendan O’Brien, he said get the clearance, I called Terry, he said ok. It’s an infectious song. Terry is great at that. We have about the same range, TA gets a little higher than I can, so we sing each other’s shit well. We really started writing together for that Love Songs record and have kept it up, off and on through today.

He’s a fast writer, I love that. Keeps the ball in the air. - Dan Baird

“I love you period

Do you love me question mark

Please please exclamation point

I want to hold you in parenthesis”

If that isn’t freaking genius I don’t know what is. Also, surely the only use of “in parenthesis” in rock n roll history.

Watch this live version featuring our pal Slim Dunlop on slide guitar. Terry played drums on this tour for a stretch but does not appear in this video. Also, Terry co-wrote four songs on this record but the whole thing is brilliant. One of the best rock n roll records forever and ever. Find it. Dig it.

Sunday Dress (Terry Anderson and The Olympic Ass Kickin’ Team)

Pound for pound my favorite Terry song. A simple blast of Faces-esque rock n roll. Terry paints the picture of a girl coming over to dine with his family and the fact she may be out of his league.

“Come over after church on Sunday

And we will sit out by the Oak

I’d love to take you to a matinee

But I’m just too broke

You’ll be a picture of an angel

As you walk up to my gate

I’ll tell mama that you are coming

Just step on in and fix your plate”

If Thunderbird ain’t poetry than this has to be getting close.

Listen to this!

Mr. Busdriver Man (I’ll Drink to That)

The flipside to the characters in Sunday Dress is the hapless protagonist in this song begging the busdriver to pull over because he just saw the woman of his dreams. Terry is singing is his affected southern drawl and riding a drum shuffle throughout, I’m smiling as I type this. Chuck Berry would be proud.

“Mr. Busdriver man, this is serious.

I’ll open up this winder. Jump right out of this bus

Man for goodness sakes put your foot on the brakes ain’t going to tell you again”

Listen to this!

Yesterday Clyde Virginia (You Don’t Like Me)

I believe this is one of Joe Oestreich’s favorite Terry songs. Since we already heard from Dan Baird, why don’t we ask my Watershed band-mate and accomplished author what he thinks makes Terry so special. Take it away Joe…….

Terry Anderson is among the greatest songwriters in rock history. Why? While most songwriters are lucky if they get a handle on even one of the following three elements, Terry is one of the very few who have mastered them all.

 1. Lyrics: Not just the content, but the language. In terms of quirky, specific detail and inventive wordplay, Terry is the heir apparent to Chuck Berry. The dude is obviously having fun putting the words and rhymes together. See “Killin’ Down in Dillon” and “Purple GTO.”

2. Melody: It’s not a song if you can’t sing along. Terry combines Berry-grade lyrics with McCartney-grade tunefulness. He may get classified as Southern rock/roots-rock/alt-country/Americana, but his songs are much catchier than most examples of those genres. Ultimately Terry is writing pop tunes, and here I mean “pop” in the original Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building sense. In this respect he's in a league with NRBQ's Adams/Anderson/Spampinato triumvirate. See “Yesterday Clyde Virginia” and “You Know Me.”

 3. Wit: Clever social commentary. Terry is damn near as good as Ray Davies when it comes to adopting an ironic persona in order to shine a light on how we’re living and the silly stuff we’re doing. Somehow, without (overly) mocking us, he exposes us for the ridiculous fuckers we are. See “Church Folks Comin” and “Internettin.”

 Listen to the Terry Anderson catalog, and it’s clear that although he takes the craft of songwriting seriously, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Plus, like all great pop songwriters, he’s brutally efficient. He gets more done in three verses than Bob Dylan does in six. In fact, to paraphrase Steve Earle’s famous quote about Townes Van Zandt, Terry Anderson might just be the best songwriter in the world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s (and Steve Earle’s and Townes Van Zandt’s) coffee table in my tennis shoes and say that. - Joe Oestreich

Watch this bootleg!

Church Folks Coming (I’ll Drink to That)

“Hurry up hurry up finish that beer, we got church folks comin’

Hide that liquor bottle under here, church folks comin’

Put those porno videos in the drawer with your panty hose

We’ve got church folks coming, we’ve got church folks coming”

Watch this unofficial video!

Lost Your Number  (National Champions)

So melodic. So simple. Kinda sad.

And just when the tune can’t get any catchier, as usual Terry has one more trick up his sleeve. This song could have rested on its laurels but he squeezes one more hook in at the end. That’s a tell-tale sign of hard work and dedication to the craft. Anything that sounds this effortless took lots of effort. Listen to the phrasing..

“Give me one more chance it’s just an unfortunate circumstance. Lost your number” X 2

Listen to this!

Never Get Enough of You (Jimmy’s Arcade)

So you never got to see the Faces? Well crank this mutha up and go see the OAK Team. And quit being such a baby while you are at it. And buy me a beer.

Listen to this loud!

Man, That Rocks (What Else Can Go Right)

Coffee shop conversation:

“Colin, what was that movie where Little Richie got into that fight with Keith Richards?”

“I’m pretty sure you mean Chuck Berry.”

“No, it was Little Richie the guitar player. Are you sure?,

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was Chuck Berry. And it’s not Little Richie, it’s Little Richard.”

Listen to this!

Killin’ Down in Dillon  (I’ll Drink to That)

I first saw this song performed by Terry with The Yahoos at SXSW following seeing Marah and Little Richard earlier the same day. Wow. What a great day.

When I hear this, the first thing I notice is the kick drum. As legendary Raleigh soundman Jac Cain told us way back in the day, “Nobody hits the one on the kick like Terry Anderson. He has a world class groove.” The second thing I notice is another great story told in three verses. An irate mother hellbent on stopping the wedding of her daughter.

“The boy momma said looked just like Arnold Schwarzenegger

She’s getting married to the first one dumb enough to take her

Went she went into her bedroom and discovered she was missing

She grabbed her sawed off shotgun and a box of ammunition

If they tie the knot there will be a killin down and dillion”

Listen to this!

I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, Colin, that’s all fine and dandy, but did the OAK Team ever perform this song outside during a freak spring snowstorm in Raleigh?” Actually, yes, I had just opened the show at Sadlack’s and shot this footage to mark the historical nature of the event.

Willie Mays (National Champions)

Many great American songwriters eventually take a crack at a baseball song. As usual, Terry’s contribution to the cannon has a slightly different take on the National Pastime.

“Standing at the plate all covered in cream

And everybody is calling you the home run king

Well you made a few good plays

But you have seen your better days

And you ain’t half as cool as Willie Mays”

BTW - “The Cream” was the preferred steroid of choice for many athletes including Barry Bands. Read all about it in the excellent book Game of Shadows.

Watch this!

$100 a Week (Terry Anderson and The Olympic- Ass Kickin’ Team)

I don’t remember the name of the venue but Watershed was opening for OAK Team and they played this song for soundcheck and folks got up and started dancing. You don’t normally see people dancing during soundchecks. Also - Caitlin Cary was the bartender that night. She was very nice.

Another great opening line:

“Damn that woman drinkin’ all my liquor, out the door I’m gonna kick her”

Listen to this!

Internettin’  (Jimmy’s Arcade)

Try not to smile listening to this one. I dare you.

“Internettin’, Internettin’ my ass off

Dot dot clickety com, look at that naked woman

Dot cot clickety net, get anything that you want to get”

Listen to this!

37 Miles in Reverse (I’ll Drink to That)

Biggie’s favorite Terry song. Okay, maybe tied with Ridin’ Around.  Yes, it’s about driving your friends around backwards. Biggie loves to drive.

“We got hit from behind, it was a head on collision”

Listen to this! (Probably Dave B. on drums.)

Whether or Not  (When the Oak Team Comes to Town)

Now, the fact that Terry and the OAK Team are genuinely great guys doesn’t need to be a part of this discussion. However, they are genuinely great guys. For example, when I was helping Erica Blinn get her first ep together (along with Mike Landolt) we were having a really tough time locking down musicians to play on the tracks. She had no track record and our budget was close to zero. Okay, it WAS zero.

Anyway, I noticed Terry and the boys had a couple off days while touring and would they interested helping a young rock n roller get her start by backing her in the studio? I suspected it was a match made in heaven, but they came in on nothing more than good faith and knocked out six songs in two days, effectively jump starting Erica Blinn’s career. I encourage you to find her self-titled ep and give it a listen. That’s the OAK Team you hear and it crushes.

And she covered this Terry classic, Whether or Not.

Listen to this!

Gityouassupdaroad (When The Oak Team Comes to Town)

Do bands North of the Ohio River write songs like this?

“I pulled up on your jalopy when I got over the hill

Running twenty miles an hour below the posted speed

You almost got us killed

Get your ass up the road”

Listen to this!

Boyfriend 2  (When The OAK Team Comes to Town)

In his songs, Terry rarely gets the girl. My teenage self can relate. That sort of thing sticks with you for life.

“I was taught at a very early age that it’s better to share

So spread your love around but not to thin because I want to be your boyfriend

Please let me be your boyfriend

Got guys hanging all over you

Let me be your boyfriend too”

Listen to the live version!

Purple GTO (Terry Anderson & The Olympic Ass- Kickin’ Team)

Wow. Maybe the best Terry song? Kid wants car. Dad won’t buy it for him. They strike a deal where kid gets car with conditions. This song has everything on display. Brilliant lyrics, Terry’s unstoppable kick drum and the full power of The Olympic Ass-Kickin’ Team at its disposal.

Listen to this!

OK, now you been learned but good. So go and spread the word about Terry Anderson & The Olympic Ass-Kickin Team. Find the songs. Buy the songs Become a fan and make a new fan. I could post fifty more songs but I’ll leave you with some mystery so you can find your favorite. Long live rock.

Colin Gawel plays both solo and in the band Watershed. He founded Pencilstorm too. He really needs to quit f-ing around with this story and mop the floors at Colin’s Coffee. To learn more google Colin Gawel.